This wonderful series of videos arrived in my inbox on Monday from Susan Tanaka at the Peter G. Peterson Institute.  It’s a little cheeky but certainly does a good job of getting the message across that tackling our country’s fiscal problems is something we need to do for our children’s sake. And for anyone who finds all those numbers daunting, the kids break it down into digestible nuggets that we can show our own kids, and even they will understand.  These spokesmen and spokeswomen in training point out that an untamed federal deficit could quadruple within 25 years, saddling each child in this country with $125,000 in debt. We know it’s time to cut. But voters are also being tricked into believing that Republicans don’t care about public schools or people. And that’s just not true. I voted for a 500 dollar increase in my tax bill yesterday to help fund our local schools. I might have voted against it if it had been a bigger ask or if it wasn’t clear where the money was going. But in this case, I know that our district lost 4 million dollars in funding from property taxes and that good schools insulate home values.  Some voters here were upset that the district had purchased a new facility for 5th grade but the project has slowed because of the economy.  The district argues it needs the space because of burgeoning class sizes. I agree. I voted against new courthouses. The old ones are fine. As a country, we need to cut the waste but not short cut our kids and good public education.


From the Peter Peterson institute. 

As parents, we know that the choices we make today will have a big impact on our children’s future. That’s not only true in our family lives; it’s also true when it comes to the policy choices Washington makes. Unfortunately, our country has made little progress in coming to terms with serious budget challenges, which, if left unaddressed, will drive our national debt so high that it will threaten future economic prosperity. That means stronger headwinds for younger generations as they enter the workforce, start families, and plan for their own futures.

We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and share what we know with our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others. Learning more about what is driving the national debt is a first step to getting our elected leaders to take responsible action to improve the fiscal outlook and make the future a better place for our children.

Check out the videos and other resources below to learn more about America’s long-term fiscal challenges—and share what you know!

  • Debt 101: The Basics

    Learn the facts about our national debt and what it means for the next generation.

    Today’s national debt is more than $14 trillion and will quadruple over the next 25 years.

  • Debt Burdens our Economy

    Discover the effects rising debt could have on economic growth and opportunity.

    Economists say a country’s debt should ideally be 60% of GDP or less. Ours is 70% and growing rapidly.

  • Health Care, Retirement, and the Debt

    Health care and retirement costs are a major part of the federal budget—and they’ll only get higher.

    America spends twice as much as other advanced nations on health care, with outcomes that are generally no better.

  • Rising Debt, Rising Interest Payments

    The national debt doesn’t come free. America pays interest, and interest costs reduce our ability to fund other priorities.

    The United States spends more than $200 billion a year on debt interest alone.

  • Keeping America Safe and Fiscally Sound

    The national debt is a threat to our national security. Keeping America safe requires keeping our economy strong.

    The United States spends more on defense than the next 17 nations combined.

  • Higher Debt Means Fewer Investments

    A healthy and growing economy requires investments in the future.

    If we continue with current policies, by 2035 the federal government will spend 4x as much on interest as on education, R&D, and infrastructure combined, limiting our economic competitiveness.

  • How Do We Solve This Challenge?

    Bipartisanship is a rare word in Washington these days, but we’ll need it if we hope to reduce debt and secure a brighter economic future for our children.

  • Download our “Cheat Sheet”

    All of the key information contained in our videos, in one handy page you can share with others.

  • Fiscal Terms Glossary

    Not quite sure about the meaning of one of the terms you heard? Check our glossary for the answer.